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Marcella Burke leads the Houston office’s Environmental Health and Safety practice. She counsels clients across the energy-environmental sector spectrum, including carbon capture, conventional oil and gas, hydraulic fracturing, renewables, decommissioning, energy technology, permitting, citizen suit defense, crisis management, criminal environmental enforcement, and environmental investigations.

She leads the firm’s Energy Transition initiative and is a board member of the Houston ESG Council. She was named by the Petroleum Economist as a global Top 100 Women of the Energy Transition 2021, received the National Law Journal Energy/Environmental Law Trailblazer Award 2021, named Lawdragon 500 Leading Environmental & Energy Lawyers 2021, and ranked among the Legal 500 United States top environmental practices 2021. She is on the Executive Committee of the Environment & Natural Resources Division of the State Bar of Texas, the Institute for Energy Law Advisory Counsel, and is the Chair of the Environment & Natural Resources Program Committee of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation.

Before joining King & Spalding, Marcella served at the EPA as Deputy General Counsel. She also served at the Department of Interior (DOI) as Deputy Solicitor for Energy and Natural Resources, and Senior Counselor to the Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management. In her roles at DOI, Marcella was lead counsel for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), and the Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation (OSMRE), all of which oversee management of federal lands, including policy and permitting for carbon capture, conventional oil and gas, renewables, rulemakings and comments to proposed rules, and enforcement matters.

At the DOI, she served as Counsel to the Royalty Policy Committee and received appointments with the Regulatory Reform Task Force and as National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) team lead for all energy project approvals. In these roles, she worked closely with the Department of Justice, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Office of Management & Budget's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and other federal agencies.

Full Bio

Credentials

J.D., University of Houston Law Center

B.A., Texas A&M University

Texas

U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Judicial Clerk, Justice Don Willett, Supreme Court of Texas

Judicial Fellow, Hon. Jennifer Walker Elrod, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Judicial Fellow, Chief Justice Sherry Radack, Texas First Court of Appeals

Judicial Fellow, Hon. Nancy Atlas, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas

Judicial Fellow, Justice Laura Carter Higley, Texas First Court of Appeals

United States Top Environmental Practice


Legal 500, 2021

500 Leading Environmental & Energy Lawyers


Lawdragon, 2021

Trailblazer Award Energy/Environmental Law


National Law Journal, 2021

TE100: Women of the Energy Transition, Inaugural Class of the Top 100 Women of the Energy Transition


Transition Economist

Houston Outstanding Young Lawyer Award


2017

Texas Rising Star


Texas Lawyer Magazine, 2017

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Recognition

United States Top Environmental Practice


Legal 500, 2021

500 Leading Environmental & Energy Lawyers


Lawdragon, 2021

Trailblazer Award Energy/Environmental Law


National Law Journal, 2021

TE100: Women of the Energy Transition, Inaugural Class of the Top 100 Women of the Energy Transition


Transition Economist

Houston Outstanding Young Lawyer Award


2017

Texas Rising Star


Texas Lawyer Magazine, 2017

Credentials

J.D., University of Houston Law Center

B.A., Texas A&M University

Texas

U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Judicial Clerk, Justice Don Willett, Supreme Court of Texas

Judicial Fellow, Hon. Jennifer Walker Elrod, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Judicial Fellow, Chief Justice Sherry Radack, Texas First Court of Appeals

Judicial Fellow, Hon. Nancy Atlas, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas

Judicial Fellow, Justice Laura Carter Higley, Texas First Court of Appeals

United States Top Environmental Practice


Legal 500, 2021

500 Leading Environmental & Energy Lawyers


Lawdragon, 2021

Trailblazer Award Energy/Environmental Law


National Law Journal, 2021

TE100: Women of the Energy Transition, Inaugural Class of the Top 100 Women of the Energy Transition


Transition Economist

Houston Outstanding Young Lawyer Award


2017

Texas Rising Star


Texas Lawyer Magazine, 2017

Icon close

Close

Recognition

United States Top Environmental Practice


Legal 500, 2021

500 Leading Environmental & Energy Lawyers


Lawdragon, 2021

Trailblazer Award Energy/Environmental Law


National Law Journal, 2021

TE100: Women of the Energy Transition, Inaugural Class of the Top 100 Women of the Energy Transition


Transition Economist

Houston Outstanding Young Lawyer Award


2017

Texas Rising Star


Texas Lawyer Magazine, 2017